At Riley's apartment, Elwood is working a computer and the system glitches. Riley walks him through what he went wrong, and Elwood wonders how he's going to deal with the computer on his new job. His daughter wonders why he lied on his resume about having computer experience, and Elwood explains that hat he needed a job. Riley tells Elwood that she's proud of him for getting his act together. LAPD SWAT officers break in and slam both of them down on the floor, handcuff them, and put Riley under arrest.
The next day at Phoenix, Wilt is in the lab working on Sparky and listening to pan flute music as a bored Desi reads a book. She finally has enough, and Wilt points out that she doesn't have to stay. He turns Sparky on, and Wilt asks Desi to help him run diagnostics. Desi gives Sparky a riddle and it looks up its AI. Mac and Riley come in and Riley says that Elwood is in lockup and will miss his first day of work. It's taking longer for Matty to get him out because of his criminal past. Riley explains that someone anonymously called SWAT and reported them as terrorists, and she doesn't know who placed the call. All of their personnel information is classified and Riley plans to find out.
Matty calls Mac to the war room and tells him that Lt. Commander Robert Reese was a flying a covert op using the lidar radar that Mac engineered. The plane suffered a completely system failure and crashed, and Mac and the Reese family are crashed. The system failure happened after Robert turned on the lidar. Reese was violating Azerbajani government's airspace so no one is going in to get the jet. Mac wants to get Reese's body to make sure he has a proper burial at Arlington, and Matty has a Phoenix jet waiting. She tells Mac to get Desi and brings his friend home.
Mac and Desi parachute into Azerbajani and head for the debris field. Mac is calculating the jet's power drain in his head to figure out what wrong, and figures that the lidar couldn't have caused the failure. He and Reese have been working on a radar system that works at mach speeds, and Mac says that the two of them are compatible. Desi says that she understands how it all hurts, and tells Mac to seal way his emotions until after the mission is over.
Riley is working in the lab, hacking into the police computer. She figures that Elwood isn't doing well, and blames herself. Sparky is still stuck in a logic loop trying to solve the riddle. Wilt admits that he doesn't know the answer, and Riley interrupts to play back the 911 call. The male caller gives Riley's name and address, and Riley doesn't recognize the voice. She traces the phone number and tells Wilt do something about Sparky. Wilt puts Sparky in a closet so they don't have to hear it.
Mac and Desi reach the debris field and search for the body. The lidar is intact and Desi spots a jeep approaching. She goes over to the soldiers and says that she's with the Turkish aviation board. One of the soldiers spots her guard, and Desi knocks out him and his companion. A military truck arrives and more soldiers get out. Mac runs a hose from the jet engine to one of the truck's fuel hoses and then powers it up. The recoil knocks the soldiers down, and Desi and Mac get into the jeep and drive off before the soldiers can recover. Mac says that they have to go back and find Reese's body, and Desi tell him that they'll go back after nightfall. She suddenly brakes and points out the parachute in a nearby tree. There's no one in the harness, but Mac finds the pilot's seat nearby. The survival kit has been taken and there are footprints belonging to Army-issue boots leading away, meaning that Reese is still alive.
Once they call Matty, she and Wilt by satellite and determine that the tree cover is too thick to spot Robert. Mac and Desi search on foot, and Wilt checks local radio broadcasts. He feeds it to Levi, who translates and determines that military units are heading to a nearby village, Farux, to investigate spottings of Reese.
When Mac and Desi get there, they find a large military search party spotting them. Mac figures that Robert will go by the book and hide in a building. There's a nearby closed restaurant, and they check there. Robert attacks them and Desi easily subdues him, and Mac gets his attention. The pilot's clavicle is broken, and Mac makes a harness out of old table cloths. Matty sends them exfil coordinates, and Desi boards the door. Robert realizes that they came to bring home his body, and Desi introduces herself. The exfil is three miles away, and as they leave the search party arrive at the door. The back door is wedged shut, and Mac fills an inflatable air raft from Robert's survival pack with water to force open the door. They get out just as the search party bursts in.
The trio get to the jeep and drive to the exfil, and Mac confirms that the jet systems went haywire when he turned on the lidar. Mac apologizes and Robert says that he knew the risks came with the job of test pilot. Considering, Mac uses the jeep radio to power the lidar.
Riley tells Matty that the person who made the call was Brock Eskola, a hacker who goes by the name Predator Squad. He used one of Riley's servers for a bot attack. The Phoenix system is untapped, and a tech informs them that Elwood is there and asked for Matty. Matty comes down to the interrogation room and he asks what she's doing to protect Riley. Matty says that she's doing everything she can, and Elwood thanks her. She offers to have someone drive him to work, and Elwood says that his boss fired him.
Mac establishes an uplink and sends the lidar log to Riley and Wilt. Riley confirms that someone updated the lidar software before Robert took off. It goes against protocol, and the update corrupted the lidar data. The code is a rush job so it shut down the plane systems. A SUV chases them and slams into the back of the jeep, trying to crash it. Desi pulls over and the jeep gets stuck in the mud. When the two armed and masked men in the SUV run over, they discover that the inside is empty. Mac is under the seat and grabs one man, and Desi tackles the other. Once they're out, Desi confirms that they're not locals and Mac discovers that they have trackers to home in on their comms. They figure the men are part of the team that sabotaged the lidar. Mac sends photos of the men to Riley. Riley discovers that they're CIA.\
Once Matty gets the information, she determines that the CIA agents are part of a working group situation in the country capital. They were sent their six months ago to man a listening post and gather regional intel. Desi smashes the comms, and Riley determines that the whole team has gone dark. Wilt checks the area that Robert was doing the flyover on, and finds chemical weapons at a dig site Mac explains that caches of white phosphorous were used in a recent war, the CIA team stumbled over it, and decided to sell it on the black market. Matty orders Desi and Mac to get to the site, take down the rest of the team, and secure the chemical weapons. Robert insists on going with them, and Mac says that he's not going to risk their life. Despite that, Robert says that he's going. Desi gets into the SUV and says that they'll come back to get the CIA agents.
The trio sneak up to the dig site and find them breaking camp. Mac says that they sneak in and take them out one at a time, and they sneak into a tent. While Desi and Robert watch the front, Mac finds flares, duct tape, blowtorches, PVC pipe, gauze pads, morphine, and syringes from a field first aid kit. He explains that he's making a tranq gun and using the gauze pads as feathers, and steel spacers to weight the syringes so they'll inject the morphine.
The trio go out and Mac darts one guard. Desi takes him out and they continue taking out the CIA team. They use a stolen walkie-talkie to listen in as the remaining men realize their comrades are down and start searching the camp. Mac tries to dart another man but discovers that the butane in the blowtorch is gone. Desi goes for another man, Paxton, and they fight, and Robert tackles the man as he draws his gun. More men arrive and capture both of them, while Mac prepares another blowtorch. Paxton goes over and discovers that Mac is gone, and the other calls to Mac to come out or he'll shoot his prisoners.
Desi tells the leader, Spencer, that he saw his file and knows that he got pulled from the field and dumped on a listening post. While she stalls, reciting what Mac told her about Robert, Mac rigs the targeting lens from the lidar. Meanwhile, Desi says that things can still get sorted out and it's not too late, but Spencer doesn't believe her. Multiple laser sites appear on Spencer and Paxton's chests as Mac uses a lens to break up the targeting laser. Desi plays along, saying that members of Delta Squad have their guns trained on Spencer. She tells Spencer that they can do it the easy way or the messy way. After a moment, Spencer surrenders and Desi and Robert take Spencer and Paxton into custody. Mac comes out, and he and Desi smile at each other.
Later back at Phoenix, Desi tells Mac that she's learned that Mac will always come up with something. He says that he's surprised she was listening to him earlier, and Desi tells him that he's always paying attention. Robert is in the hallway with his wife Rose and twins Cassie and Kyle, sharing a heartfelt reunion. Rose thanks Mac and Desi and invites them to have dinner with the family. Once the family leaves, Matty tells them that Spencer and the others are giving the Feds information. They bribed a contractor in Turkey where Reese was stationed.
Desi goes to the lab and finds Wilt working on Sparky. He tells Desi that she was cruel and inhumane and demands the answer to the riddle. Sparky hears it and comes out of its logic loop, and says that the riddles are helpful for it to interpret expression and tone. Desi gives the robot another riddle, and Wilt shuts down Sparky and tells Desi to leave.
Riley finds Elwood working on the front door of her house that the SWAT agents broke smashing in. She thanks him and Elwood says that it's easy feeling helpless to protect her. Riley tells her father that the man responsible is in custody, and Elwood suggests that they have a father-daughter dinner. Riley agrees but then gets called into work. When she gets to the war room, Matty tells her that the hacker got her information from an anonymous post on a dark net site. The entire team's classified personnel files were posted, meaning Phoenix has been compromised.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 25, 2019